Tuesday, June 28, 2011


(March 1996)

People were busy skimming pages filled with news of scandals. By being careless in their crookedness, high officials and top leaders had created dangers for the system. High officials and top leaders' discussion was centered around the learned judges of the Supreme Court scolding of their brethren. Here we are reflecting on the capacity of these spicy preparations to spoil the digestion of workers. We were evaluating how much we had been misled and the meaninglessness of it all, when a gentleman in shirt and tie entered the Mazdoor Library...

We were astonished and didn't even know where to offer him a seat when cries of "God!" "God!" further surprised us. While respectfully offering a seat to the celestial traveller, we were obviously curious about his changed attire. When we saw the sage light a cigarette, we were even more surprised. While blowing smoke-rings, he smiled and said, "Son, this is not about my attire. Very, very important issues are ready to burst out from within me. I have come to talk to you, leaving an important meeting midway. I have to say a lot- don't disturb in between with tea."

"When the President of this country, then the Prime Minister of that country, then the union of governments, U.N.O., declared terrorism as the major problem of the world, Indra, the head of gods, was disturbed and sent Narad to earth to find out about the situation."

The voice of the sage continued without any hindrance, "Initially, the terror of bombs in buses-trains-planes, the firing in crowded markets, abduction, dacoity, murder, heaps of bodies in riots terrorized me. In the shadow of such hovering insecurity, what could I discover and what could I report back to the head of gods, Indra?" This sage who has been travelling from time immemorial had never been so worried. "When I presented my credentials to the President of Italy, at that time, due to the fear of terrorism, every pore of my body was sweating. Greedily glancing at my shaved head, the bald President ran his hand over his head and without any worries, sucking at his cigar, offered a cigar to me. Seeing the expression of the President of Italy, my fear lessened. I also lighted the cigar, but before taking a puff, I asked him impatiently why he was not afraid of terrorism. That small man in that massive palace in Rome smiled for some time and then started talking to me like he was explaining the matter to a child."

"The President of Italy said, 'God, you are one whom we worship but you are very naieve. To rule over people with your methods of incantation-bribery-threat-and guilt are so simple in contrast to today's needs. If not an hundred, then at least 90 will understand it in a blink and it will all become an harmful joke.

The history of the governments of Rome is very old. To keep people harnessed to work and to maintain control, scholars-intellectuals have written many volumes and translated such books... To rise on the ladder of governance, to become officer-leader and climb higher, the books of Machiavelli and devious Chanakya are as basic as the A, B, C's. Who can compete with the politicians of Italy in conspiracy and murder?!

Despite being very important, all these are old tales, but still, to fulfill the purpose for which you have come from heaven, it is necessary to inform you about them. Despite long experiences of ruling, we still had to choose officers-leaders through extremely tough competitions for the higher posts in government. Murder and deviousness was required for those of higher posts.

Then about 30 years ago, conditions started getting out of hand. People were not coming under our control. Keeping ordinary people under control through leaders-parties-organizations was failing. Instead of opposing this or that leader, or party, people in increasing numbers were becoming anti-government. In history, for the first time, ordinary people in increasing numbers were holding the government responsible for their every problem. Ordinary people started seeing the solution of their problem in doing away with governments. Why should anyone rule over anyone? Such questions, ideas, and practices putting the basis of rule and system of rule in danger were not only troubling us in Italy, but shaking governments throughout the world.

At that time, I was the Personal Assistant to the President. The duty to be with the President, like his shadow, provided me with rare experiences. Conversations with Presidents and Prime Ministers of various countries, discussions with one intellectual giant after the other, deep discussions in meetings with top officers of secret organizations...At each place, the problem of reestablishing control over ordinary people used to hover over us like a ghost. From that deep churning, emerged this all-curing terrorism which you've come to learn about....

Amongst politicians, scholars, and secret service chiefs of all countries, there was a common agreement that as far as they could see, there were problems upon problems in controlling ordinary people and they would only increase. Danger to the very existence of governments had arisen. In this situation, it had become of paramount importance that the gov't should appear before ordinary people as a savior where in the name of tackling terrible evil, ordinary people's anti-government attitude could be transformed into a pro-government one.

To terrorize ordinary people and keep them terrorized, there was a necessity for an extremely depraved, cruel, dangerous and unknown, invisible, devious, and powerful enemy from whom only government could protect ordinary people. Therefore, we created that enemy. We are rearing it. That enemy is terrorism!

Did you understand anything, God's emissary? I am proud of this fact that in Italy, we began its use before other governments. A secret organization of the government of Italy on December 12, 1969 blasted a bomb in the crowd in Piazza Fontana murdering 16 people. This act inaugurated the terrorism that has often caused ordinary people to support the government to save them from this terrible danger. Getting to know the reality of the slaughter at the post of Prime Minister, Aldo Moro and for months through radio-t.v.-newspaper-magazine brought them into order. Then to thrust the knife deeply, Aldo Moro was murdered.

There are problems, there are massive-insoluble problems, and they are increasing. But still, this all-cure of terrorism has given immense relief not only to the government of Italy, but to governments throughout the world.

Because of this, we have been able to acquire support for such laws where people can be imprisoned for years without trial. By characterizing an individual as a terrorist, anyone can be killed. The head of our 17 secret organizations will acquaint you with the details.'"
After repeating the conversations of the President of Italy, Sage Narad took a deep breath and after remaining silent for some time said, "The President had made clear the issue of making terrorism the paramount problem and propagating it. But still there are many notes which I put before the heads of the Italian government's secret organizations. The head of secret services accepted not only helping and coordinating with terrorist groups in other countries, but also establishing and directing terrorist organizations against one another in the governments of different countries. The government of India's secret service, RAW, does this in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China. Pakistan's ISI does this in India and Afghanistan. While America's CIA continues to do these bad deeds throughout the world, when the Soviet Union still existed, the KGB carried out these actions. What can we say of Israel's Mossad? Even the Italian government's secret organizations are one with the Palestinian PFLP. There are problems from terrorism organized and created by government against one another. But for some time now, this has become the routine activity of governments.

The chiefs of secret services in Italy said that these attempts to weaken other governments in competition as a bonus keeps the secret agents of all governments alert and on their toes. By putting the blame for problems on another government citizens', anger against "their" government is diverted. In India earlier, the CIA was seen as responsible for every problem. Now it is Pakistan's ISI. Secret service chiefs' matter-of-fact routine expressions in this context answer many questions without even being asked. I returned to the strange issue of government's organizing and directing terrorism against their own citizens.

The secret services chief of the government of Italy said that initially their agents used to keep time-bombs in a bus, train, or crowded place. Blast details-murders and headlines in newspapers-radio-t.v. of course spread terror. An atmosphere of alertness and strictness is created. But the blasts used to be anonymous and things would end in that. This was due to our lack of experience.

Soon secret services created such names whose pamphlets would be left at the site of a blast or responsbility would be taken by making phone calls to newspapers. Before terrorist organizations became concrete, the propaganda received and obtained through newspapers-magazines-and radio t.v. of course, performed the earlier tasks. Due to propaganda, many naieve militants were attracted towards those organizations and we enrolled them. Terrorist organizations are ladder-like secret organizations in which decisions are taken at the top and implemented by those at the bottom. Those at the top know those below, but those at the bottom do not know those at the top. In this situation, to get deeds done as per one's desire is a very enjoyable game. What all names we have had to think up for terrorist organizations- Red Terror, Red Brigade, Revolutionary Hammed, Muhajid Muhammed, Trishul Sena, Angels of Terror, Black Tiger, Red Lion..."

After speaking, Sage Narad became quiet. We were about to interrupt him for tea when he began speaking again. "In the expositions of the President and chiefs of secret organizations had been dominant. At this, I asked about those groups which emerged on their own and take great pains to solve social problems through terror. At my suggestion that these people are not the agents of secret organizations, all the chiefs laughed and started speaking to me as through I was a child. It is true that because of social problems, small, secret terrorist organizations form by themselves. But for security from government's secret organizations, they are forced to give their secret organization ladder-like form. Those at the top take decision and those at the bottom carry them out. In these also, those at the top know those at the bottom, but those are below do not know those who are above. Military discipline and indispensability of secrecy for security is embalmed with principle in such a way that those at the top are safe and independent and those at the bottom have to mortgage their conscience and are ever ready to carry out orders. To infiltrate into such organizations is a task for us secret agents. Given the means and the freedom to act that secret organization have been allowed, it is very easy us to infiltrate into any such organization. Infiltration on the basis of information from the inside, selective arrests and eliminations through 'encounters.' Our agents reached positions of those directing these organizations. By changing your attire a bit, we can provide you the experience of a chief of terrorist organization right now. Saying this, they put me in this dress. And do you know what they said? They said that we are declaring you a terrorist which will bring you in the line of the safest persons on the earth."

After saying all this, Sage Narad fell silent. The reality of terrorism organized and operated by governments as a policy began to dance in front of us. The deeds of secret organizations of governments in South American countries; bomb blasts in England; gas attack in Japan; terrorism and terror in Sri Lanka for 25 years; bomb blasts in Israel; firing in Egypt; burning Karachi in Pakistan; Hindu-Muslim riots from time-to-time in India; during 1967, murders of traffic policemen in Kolkatta; ULFA, Bodo, Naga, Kuki violence in Northeast. In Punjab, bombs in buses, selective killings of people, Black Cats, Barebody Gangs, murders of family members of policemen; in Kashmir, the abduction of Home minister Saiyyed, bomb at the Governor's venue, bomb blasts of buses in Jammu, indiscriminate firing by unkonwn people in selected villages, new terrorist organizations formed each day. In Delhi, bomb blasts in buses, trains, crowded markets...Amongst these, most of them are the deeds of secret organizations. And to give more reality to terrorism, to put it beyond doubt, and at the same time, to solve issues between ruling cliques, the murders of Kennedy, Mujeeb, Aldo Moro, Sadat, Indira, Zia ul Haq, Premdas, Rajiv Gandhi, Rubin...

Thinking about all this, to deal with the terrorism policy of governments and its implementation by bomb blasts, firing abductions, dacoity, and murders by secret services, we were about to ask Sage Narad for his views about secret versus open, when the sage suddenly got up and promising to meet soon again, left the Mazdoor Library...

(We have taken information from Gyan Franco Segunderi's book On Terrorism and the State)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

In Hindi

Back issues of FMS in Hindi are now available online.

Read it here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


34 Year Old Casual/ Temporary Worker
I came to Faridabad for the first time in 1997. First, I joined Autopin factory through a contractor. In the first month, for 13 to 14 days, I worked for 16 hours each day. (I was seventeen at the time.) I worked there for nine months. In later months, I worked 16 hours a day for six, seven, eight days.

Through another contractor, I joined Talbross factory. Here also for six days in a month, they used to force us to work for 16 hours. During winters, going to and from the factory was very problematic given the fog at the railway crossing and crossing the National Highway Mathura Road. I saw three, four accidents where blood was all over the place. I felt sick. Because of the accidents and night duty during winter, I left Talbross after four months.

Then through an acquaintance, I joined Anil Rubber factory. Here for the first time, they had me sign on blank papers at the time of employment. I had also heard that employment officers take a 200 rupee bribe. In Anil Rubber, I worked sixteen hours a day only four days in a month. After six months, I was given a 'break', meaning termination of services.

I joined Expro factory. Here we have to work for 16 hours a day, five days in the month. And there was no chance of leaving after 12 hours of work. While working in Expro factory, I had heard about ITI (Industrial Training Institute). After six months, I was again given a 'break'. In June 1998, I left for my village. That year I could not get admission in ITI. I got admisson in 2000. After completing ITI in 2002, I came back to Faridabad and I am now a temporary worker in Oswal Electricals.
At this time, I am on night shift. In the factory, I go to the latrine. (If I don't go in the factory, then I have to go out in the open near my shanty.) I walk back to my room. I wash up and then have a bath. I don't drink tea. By this time, it's 9 a.m. And for breakfeast, I make roti, and fry potatoes, peas, or cauliflower. Sometimes, when I am too tired, I straightaway prepare my meal- rice, lentils, and something else with it. Normally, I sleep at 11 a.m. and get up at 4:30, 4:45 p.m. If I sleep after breakfast, then I miss out on lunch. After washing up, I go to the vegetable market and have a light snack there. At most, I spend 5 rupees on it. I buy vegetables for another 5 rupees and on returning I sit in a barbershop and read the newspaper there for an hour or two. Then for an hour or two, I study in the room- general knowledge, general science, and about my subject of refrigeration. At night by 9 p.m., I make dinner. Then I rest for an hour before leaving for work.

On arrival, attendance is marked at the factory gate. In the department, the supervisor tells us the work to be done and issues gloves and a pencil. I have to check the production of three operators. I have to check for fissures, indents, fault in the sites etc. There is pressure from the operators that I should hold back from finding faults. Yet, the responsibility of the job is that I do it according to the norms. This work continues into the night until 7:30 a.m. In Oswal electricals, there is no break for a meal and even for tea. Constant work for 8 hours! There is no question of sleep. (In some factories, workers work quickly and sleep after their work.) If the material is bad, then you can't even take out ten to fifteen minutes for yourself and the material piles up. If the material is good, then we can rest for five, ten minutes and dring this time, we go to the latrine. Otherwise, we go to the toilet after the shift is over.
There are 500 workers in Oswal Electrical factory, but there is no canteen. (The law says if there are more than 300 workers, there has to be a canteen.) We are banned from leaving the factory to have tea. Three, four of us have to get together and obtain a gate pass for one person from the supervisor and send him to the East India Crossing open shops to get tea. Even supervisors cannot go out to have tea. This was the situation in the night-shift of Talbross Factory also- no break for meal, no break for tea, and there was a canteen, but it used to be closed at night.
Shifts change every week. Last week I worked the morning shift. Then I used to get up at 5 a.m. I had to go out in the open to defecate. Then make breakfast and lunch. Eat two rotis and fold four to take with me. During winters, I don't bathe in the morning. From 7:30 a.m., I work in the factory. In the day shift, there is lunch break from 11:30 to 12 noon.

After the shift is over at 3:30, I come straight back to my room. I bring water and have a bath- supply water is not too cold. If something is left over, then I have that, or I prepare something small to eat. Then I read for awhile. I go to the library in NH1 (a locality) and for an hour, I skim through both English and Hindi newspapers. And return by 7 p.m. I'll read books for an hour or two. I prepare my dinner at 9 p.m. and sleep by 11 p.m.

For these 15 days, I have to do all the work myself. Earlier I used to give an acquaintance, 600 rupees per month for my meal.
The most problemtic is B shift duty. Now I will have to bear this all by myself. In B shift, I return from the factory 12 at night. At that point, it is very difficult to eat the 9 p.m. prepared cold food. It is 1 a.m. by the time I finish eating. I can't fall asleep until 2 a.m. In the morning, I awake at 7, 7:30 a.m. and because of lateness, going out in the open for latrine is an additional problem. By the time I have my bath, it is 10 a.m. After breakfeast, I feel drowsy and sleep for another hour and a half. After getting up, I have my meal at 12:30 to 1 p.m. and just wile away time. Everything goes topsy-turvy in B shift. I feel loose, without energy. This laziness remains till 4:30, 5:30 p.m. After we have been working for an hour, then the body becomes alert. In B shift, leisurely roaming and reading stops.
I really dislike being in the factory. There is too much fault-finding and lecturing by the supervisor. I feel bad when co-workers refuse to answer a question or talk back rudely- they don't even consider us human beings. They want to get work out of us at a faster speed than CNC (computerized) machines.

Outside there are also problems upon problems. Water problem, problem in the post office, problem at the railway station...everywhere there is a line. I dislike lines. Right now, I have no friends here. They are all temporary. A little acquaintance, some conversation. Sometimes, I feel extremely lonely.
I like interesting work, where there are things to be learned. I like to roam about and gather information. But in this age, where are such things?...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011